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Aug 2019 · 362
8/30/19
Justin Aptaker Aug 2019
Everyone's been talking about how
the universe will either expand
indefinite cold star death
or collapse and then repeat itself

meanwhile i'm a slave proper
in every sense of the word physical
bound to the elements hunger
a criminal for speaking my thoughts aloud

a loud or a soft noise unheard
unseen and unknown and unthinkable
still I would try to define it
humanity, always effing the ineffable

i'm one and apart and the same all the same
the universe cloaked in name after name
every man and woman a star
in their own drama melodrama how dramatic

i am in a word addict
again you might say i'm back at it
rhyming with rhythm but static
sense or nonsense and i've had it
Aug 2019 · 196
Laudanum
Justin Aptaker Aug 2019
how can i afford the cure?
the cure is my disease
how can i speak with words still pure?
my doctor poisons me
yet will i laud
and make it
soft
the words of the wise
are plainly lost
Written ca. 2011
Aug 2019 · 342
koans
Justin Aptaker Aug 2019
like koans
halting in their tracks
your logical thought
processes like a train, black and long
when it runs in a padded room
small, silent, white
Written ca. 2006
Aug 2019 · 236
Kerux
Justin Aptaker Aug 2019
the angel called out to me
Recite!
But I said,
"what will I recite with these unclean lips? "

So the angel ripped my larynx
out of my throat
and set it on fire
until it burned to ashes

then I began to recite
Written ca. 2014
Justin Aptaker Aug 2019
i and i wept
by the waters of Knoxville
remembering Zion
repatriation, what a notion
slowly, we came to our senses

the brave new world
closing in around us
we sought our refuge
at the doors of perception

timothy leary and
Marcus Garvey
were on a bad trip
together one day
when it began to snow outside
like grace
from heaven, falling
i was there with them
the angel of death

my thanatalivity
is all i know now
i will make it
to the end
Written ca. 2012
Aug 2019 · 233
Hippocrates
Justin Aptaker Aug 2019
it's ready to happen
hours count down to launch, but the burners hum already
the structure is taken up
siphons slowly into the bloodstream

the catalyst, the moment
the agonist, the imitator

the perceptual set is set, and it's famished
not even lit, and it's waiting for more-
the stimulant, the ignition
the doctor, the system

like inlets of blood, the freeways carry us to the city
like carcinogens, like poison medication
like aluminum, like exhaust

i too am carried
and when i reach that center
i am deposited, and begin to take effect
while i wait for my own poison to take hold of me
blood within Blood
and
poison in Poison
medication in Medication in MEDICATION
we make sure all of our cancers are medicated

it has happened already
but i am waiting for it to happen again
the freeway now quiets itself in anticipation
a new day to repeat
the city is ready for more
Written ca. 2006
Aug 2019 · 276
Get it Right
Justin Aptaker Aug 2019
go to school
obey authority
follow tradition
join society

go to church
worship god
get married
get a job

pay rent
be responsible
have children
stay faithful

work harder
be productive
rest and silence
are ******, seductive

wear clothes
don’t offend
don’t care
just pretend

act normal
stand in line
grow old
now you die
Written ca. 2016
Aug 2019 · 186
Gloria Inferni
Justin Aptaker Aug 2019
hell is not hot
if you think it is, it’s just because you haven’t been there
hell is like cool drink of water
but it gets under your skin
gets right where it hurts the most
understands your weaknesses
anticipates your failures
its always there waiting
crouching
silent

hell is not
anything you would expect
because the glory of hell
is to give the unexpected
Written ca. 2015
Aug 2019 · 122
Gently
Justin Aptaker Aug 2019
go gently, gently, into that good night
i will not rage
against the dying of the light

the light is blinding
and i am burned
leaving forgotten, all i have spurned

hello Darkness, my old friend
please impale my two-part heart
with the bleeding tip of my black-blooded pen
that way, maybe
that way, we will never speak again

in that sleep, surely no nightmares
may come
that are worse
than the present one

send me quietly into that good night
i will not fight
the dying of the light
Written ca. 2011
Aug 2019 · 160
Gehinnom
Justin Aptaker Aug 2019
On a world with no moon I pondered deeply on a starless night
Wondering what happened when the sun fell silent with the light
And yet the black sky told no story, no star-man seen with belt alight
Orion quiet as the darkness still, unthought, unformed

Not because of clouds or want of sight was my world formed in darkness
But because the sun had gone and was the only light
The nearest star was just too far, and so to me had never been
Like I must be to it as if it were I wasn't born

All the light I knew this night was fire; fire was my own
Nothing out beyond myself had gave this fire or had shown
One sign of having helped me strike the tinder into flame
I didn't even know it "fire", knew it by no name

On a world with no moon, no stars, no clouds, no name
I forgot there was a sun
but it was all the same
Written ca. 2012
Aug 2019 · 163
for you
Justin Aptaker Aug 2019
do you like poems?
Well, here is a book of them
I made it for you
with all the tears and blood and **** and **** and spit I could muster
isn't it beautiful?
I hope you'll love it like I love it
Written ca. 2008 - 2009
Aug 2019 · 144
Flight
Justin Aptaker Aug 2019
I woke up
opened my eyes
i was alone

and then, just as quickly as the terror had come and passed
the moment was so beautiful that i refused to capture it

Jesus christ
save my soul. Jesus christ, make me whole

the turbulence reached for me
but i was beyond it then
i'd sought for the Spirit
a different spirit came and went
i'm still looking
still looking

but even the inadequacy of words is muted
right now
we are living in different worlds
not only from one another, but particularly from ourselves
the pride of life courses through the brokenness of language
wanting, however, the Spirit of Truth

but i am looking
we are all looking

and just when i'd thought i was barren, She did come again
even in the mess i was in
like a baby, lying in a manger
I woke up
opened my eyes
I was home
Written April, 2019
Aug 2019 · 180
Fallen
Justin Aptaker Aug 2019
so there really is no end to this
faded snapshots, fleeting bliss
all i'm left with is desire
this my hell, and that my fire

archer shot too high and far
borrowed moments from the stars
now my time is free for all
never fall free from the law

my muse a slave, i sold my rights
in one too many stolen nights
moth to flame for city lights
a god has fallen slain tonight
Written ca. 2012
Aug 2019 · 162
Eulogy
Justin Aptaker Aug 2019
renaissance
San Francisco, a whisper in the wind tonight
tells of rebirth
not Beat
or beaten down
not beatific simply being

it is whispered that soon
we will all see our visions and dream our dreams
amidst the microchip mindbending screams
can you really, really believe?

The true dawn begins tonight
at which I woke, and was alight
and the wind rushed through me like
the rustle of dead leaves

San Francisco, I never knew
you but I hear of your deeds of renunciation and renown
they have echoed across time and space like starlight
that is evergreen

I have seen, I see, I will continue to see
me in you
you in me
I was born
not anachronistically
but just in time
just in time
Written ca. 2012
Aug 2019 · 323
Dry Drunk
Justin Aptaker Aug 2019
i was born
to a mother who always is
trying to destroy me

my father
left
long before
i was born
i can never seem to find
where he's at

i'm so dry
such a dry, dry drunk
white knuckle sober
Written ca. 2012
Aug 2019 · 147
Ephemera II
Justin Aptaker Aug 2019
even now has come to an end
the world that once was then
when
the nights were young
full of natural electricity

you may find yourself
standing in a place so unfamiliar
yet so full of such bewildering
similarity
to something you knew before

then,
you may just be watching
the wind as it plays
in ripples on the surface of the water
which passes under your feet
standing on a bridge
Written ca. 2012
Aug 2019 · 124
Cells
Justin Aptaker Aug 2019
remember when you sat in asylum
and heard sounds from the other side
when i soothed you with that children's song
high above the lamentation
up on the desert plain

remember when you sat among the violent
and heard through the haze
the passionate rhythm
the voice always with you

remember when your eyes were opened
to sun-colored fields
and to fields of radiant souls
each one cut and multi-faceted
each one perfect in its own poverty

remember when you looked down from that hill
on the sparkling city-lights below
and the city was transformed
and lived and breathed
and ran through you like divine blood
like Zion itself, consumed in your holy communion

I run through your memories
christening them holy
I breathe into your crowded slum
until every rock, and the dung strewn on the dirt path
are all lovely
worthy of worship all along

remember the fury with which I destroyed you
when you paced, heart racing
in your jail cell
when I set my wolves on you

remember the endless, stretching months
that all seemed like years and years
when I unleashed my plague of locusts
into your scrambled brains
when you found no rest in sleep
and your flesh burned through the day
when I breathed fire and consumed your little house
and you stood there naked and aghast
in a mechanistic universe that hated you through and through
a starving animal, you cowered in fear
thirsty longing to find shelter from the sun

i run through my memories
latent and potent in every cell, every member
i remember
Written ca. 2012
Aug 2019 · 166
Begging for Bread
Justin Aptaker Aug 2019
is it my age-old blasphemies
that keep you at arm's length?
screaming for life
begging for bread

i sit by the silence
wrapped in the shade
the glories of youthful dreams
beautifully fade

my name in lights
my name tonight
forgotten
if for a moment
if i could hold it tight

if i could only make love to my demise
open to skies
swim in your eyes
with the rest of the teeming sea
of humanity
lost
Written ca. 2011
Aug 2019 · 198
towers fall
Justin Aptaker Aug 2019
do you like to worship yourself
better than worshiping anyone else?
do you look at any glass
except the ones that show yourself?

haven't you heard?
the towers have fallen!
haven't you heard
That towers can fall?

and then, just when
I thought I had seen it all...

i found myself sitting in a different
                                     room
  it looked like a palace
                         but it was a tomb
  like a bleeding, barren womb
  like a child born far too soon
       and it was dark
       and i was scared
       and adults were gathered in a far-off room

and there were things in there with me
that the adults couldn't see
and they were dark and they were small
with the sharpest little teeth

I'VE LOST SOMETHING
something's been taken!
they tore something out of me
     i knew the moment
     i awoke
     and saw the daylight flee

do you paint pictures of food
to donate to starving children?
do you max out your credit card
to profit off God's business?

the towers
shining like mirrors
we see our reflection
   then all is just shattered
   then all that once mattered
   is a column of smoke in the wind
        and angels descend
        from mansions pretend
        to caverns below
        where old Titans stow
                  away
     awaiting the day
      that Chaos will arrive
      their savior
and swallow Earth and its deepest recesses
and them along with it all
   and Vishnu sleeps
   on the endless serpent
Written ca. 2011
Aug 2019 · 235
chitta vṛtti nirodha
Justin Aptaker Aug 2019
to be
a human being
is so very small a thing
to be

while inside of me
all of reality
i am
i am
subjectivity

(infinite
finite)

liminal days
eternal lives
visceral
guts pouring
out from inside

it all starts to collide
i think maybe that's why
we must sleep
dreamless
sleep
we must die
Written 8/13/2019
Aug 2019 · 145
The Dialogue
Justin Aptaker Aug 2019
Money protect Me, for i am of money
Power protect all your children who love You
may it be always, that we remain one
till’ all accounts settle, and we transform into none

passion for poem, wanton weakness in words
I am nothing
like anything
you think you have heard
chaos of rough draft
order adds on each edit
I give bread, and give breath, and you give me no credit

my father, my father, tell me why did you leave me?
the lust of a dust castle
seduced, she bereaved me
she robbed me of every singed hair, I remember
she left through the cold chimney late in December

I struggled to speak, in a world without ears
I sought long for weeping, but never found tears
I the day, I the night
I am time before years
I the moon
I the sun
I your most hopeful fear

Me is not I, unless words could deceive us
my bitterness feeds on the truth that you leave us
you leave and have left, and are leaving again
Me equals Us, and you leave us my friend

not leaving or coming, see
I’ve all come and left
I have no where to go, I have no where to nest
no bed and no pillow
no blanket or tree
you refuse to accept that my rest is with me

don’t tease me
or mock, with your promise of wages
you, the dumb-deaf demise of our weak-minded sages
you, insisting we work seven days of the week
you leave my hand empty and return me to the streets

it is for want of a road
you must sleep in the streets
I offer you rest, but you are always asleep
I ask you to walk
Your sun crumbled your feet
I ask you to walk
so you severed your wings
Aug 2019 · 158
Still Life
Justin Aptaker Aug 2019
couple on a motor
cycle with a death wish
drum drops
still pond
early morning
coolness broken

pull that poison, pull it deeply
deeply, deeply
pull it deeply
keep that breath, like memory bitter
sweetly taste that lungs can know

a good will, strong, and a one hundred
these are made alone
for breaking
benjamin Wishing, Well behind
our time,
our pennies
are made
for throwing
Aug 2019 · 133
Stream
Justin Aptaker Aug 2019
jet-stream, that trails
jet-stream, clearly shown
to us as the mark, as the mark of the one
most awesome of gods, of the Creating Snail
    gentle, and generative,
                      and
                fertile
                   by: our one mind

                                      below
             all our reason, in light
of our eyes, of our ancients
in season

fruit, when found eaten
red hand, in jar dripping
we liken to something, reflux acid sweetened
sweet before swallow, as is every scroll's sum--memory
    distant, and blind,
                      but
          not dumb
Aug 2019 · 158
Grown
Justin Aptaker Aug 2019
i’ve grown weary
of this story
growing
weary
of this frame
oh so weary
of this cosmos
in which I got this name

and I can’t remember why I came

I’m fearful for the leaving
can’t seem to quit the game
oh how I love this loathsome body
I carry with me night and day

and when I look into the mirror
I see a stranger face

sweet solace sought in speaking
my wearisome refrain
no rest foreseen in sleeping
if I must wake again
in lukewarm purgatory
on waves that toss and strain
in sitcoms just repeating
weary lines and jokes again

and again
Aug 2019 · 216
Invocation
Justin Aptaker Aug 2019
come now
i welcome you
and as the sign of my invitation
i’ll smear some of my blood over my thoughts
before i write them down

come burning
like the ember at the end of my cigarette
which i burn ritualistically
like a sacrifice for sin

come, i’ll slay swine and serpents
to lay out for you
forgive me, it is all i have to give
but i understand that it is the sincerity of the giving
and not the gift
which you desire

and for your thirst
i’ll give a bitter gall
that is all
i have, for your thirst or for mine

but come
come in time
i pine
away
like every day
you ever made

i ask for no angels to herald your arrival
lest wiser men arrive
and present you with better gifts
than i can afford

come Lord
Aug 2019 · 171
The Night the Moon was Dark
Justin Aptaker Aug 2019
awake now!
Recite!
Write it down, letter by letter
the house of Holy is being built
brick by brick, letter by letter, gem by gem

my Spirit approached me by night
with a vision of gladness
a triumphant tiding
born on a warm and powerful wind in the dead of winter

Say, “It is finished”
Say, “The city has fallen!”
Say, “Come away with me, my love. Come away, and taste not of her poison delicacies”

as in a dream, I watched
while a mad-woman
a maenad
ran through every street and back alley
a lunatic
possessed by the moonlight
holding in her left hand
a magic wand that she had retrieved
from a children’s magic kit
a plastic wand

and everywhere she ran
she swung her wand
pointing at each and every thing
and shouting

HOLY! HOLY! HOLY! HOLY!
Holy, the cobblestones of the street! Shining in the moonlight!
Swinging her wand and pointing up
HOLY the dark clouds which move to block the moonlight
and move away again to reveal!

Swinging and shrieking and crying
HOLY! HOLY!
Pointing the wand at the gawking passerby
who stopped to stare, clutching their children tightly to guard them from her madness
HOLY the skeptics, the blind, and the deaf! For they shall see! They shall hear!
Holy your children, whom you shall not keep from me!
They will follow me through the streets, singing and dancing to my merry tunes!

Holy the children, for they believe in magic wands of plastic
Holy the plastic, no less than the gold with which you adorn your temples!

Holy the darkness, which falls over your land!
And with those words
the Lady flung her arm
pointing her wand at the moon itself
which turned red-black
like congealed blood over a wound
and darkness fell over the cobblestones in the streets

and panic fell in the hearts of the passerby
because the light was gone
and screaming terrified, they tried to drag their children with them back inside their homes
where the cold hum of electricity kept the incandescent status quo glowing from the ceilings

but the children would have none of it
the Lady had begun to dance under the darkened moon
through the black streets
singing a merry tune (holy holy holy)
and the children each broke free from the terrified death-grips of their parents
and danced behind Her
into the streets
Aug 2019 · 2.4k
Death Calls (long poem)
Justin Aptaker Aug 2019
death calls
every heartbeat by name
making each one the same

this is your life
this is your life
this is your life
this is your life

the metronome, calling me home, ticking away, fading the day
life can be so melodramatic
like watching static
with the volume on mute
and your mind on mute, numbed by the gentle static hiss of your own personal hell
and the waves that swell
the remains of life-forms onto endless beaches of time

all time is mine
all time is mind

i look out by night
at the vast ocean of Being
and the sand, as it slips in my hands
is not made for my counting
infinity is not comforting

i smell salt
sitting on the naked earth, i draw from a vast reservoir
a deep well
hoping that maybe if i bury my head
under the beachy sand
i will escape the tide by becoming one with the earth and the stars

i try to write perfect words
with the absurd feeling that if i get them right
they will work like a spell
that shatters reality itself
and places me somewhere else
where things were right the first time

after all, we cast reality with words
and all of our pictures come to life
and all of life is our pictures
and words are our entire reality
so we must not be saying the right words, thinking the right words
no one taught us the right words, we don’t have the faculty for those kinds of words

silence and sleep
thoughts of the deep
give no rest for me
they reek of the sleep i dread to sleep
i make noise so that the universe must keep listening
i banish sleep because a white gangrene is glistening
where the worm never dies
and the smokes always rise, blotting the skies

are we the children of Cain? cursed from the face of the earth
is it because of ****** in my heart
that i am marked to die?

we stand shivering outside, in chains and shackles, all in a line
with brothers and sisters in front and behind
and every so often (we never know when)
our captors pluck one of us out of the line
and none of us can stop it
and we are forced to watch it
while they stand our mothers and fathers against the wall
and open fire, but not at heart or head
on stomachs and bowels instead
so our loved ones expire slowly, writhing on the cold dirt
pleading eyes upturned
begging our love to save them
but we can only wait our own turn

it seems that no Mind would dream up such a dream
and give it as Life
to its very offspring

i tremble to blaspheme
but i am questioning
doubting

whether Love has ever tread these tangled paths at all
whether Life ever begot life
whether we are not in fact just the spectacular fireworks
of passion and sorrow
that the universe has cooked up with
its chemical sorceries

which paint once the sky
for an instant in time

Father! Father!
do you even remember the name that you gave me?
do you remember the night you pulled me violently from my resting place
where it was dark and warm and secure?
and you cast me into a cold, hollow womb that continually miscarries
and i was born in a tomb
too soon?

it was winter
do you remember?

the dying of embers
O, wanton December!
Who pierced me with sorrows
and gave me tommorows
but stole all my todays


i inquire into the science
of infinite gaps
of gaping synapse

i investigate the substance of Being
poking at it from every angle
demanding that it yeild fruits fit for our consumption
that it justify itself

must i remind you
that i never asked to be here
and i never consented
to this form or this figure
riddled with cancers

i am the eternal thought
thinking itself
watching with terrified attatchment
these bodies which i inhabit

my haunts, my accostomed places
my ethos, my habits
my character, a socially constructed facade
my self, ever putting itself
into the eyes of others, looking on itself
imagining itself playing the roles
of each of the other children in the schoolyard


but at last, the primitive state of nature overtakes me
i’m going to sleep now, do not awaken me
and when i awake, Love will wake again with me
and all the smoldering, dying wreckage of this day will forsake me

ah, i remember now, the sound of Love, walking in the cool of the garden
when each day seemed to stretch on forever
and the night was full of magic
the infinite gaps can only be scaled
in the space of one instant, no more and no less

working its way back through every other instant
time, since it is a function of mind, is also subject to language
i stand back from the bodies of the dead i inhabit
i am the universal singularity, the one thought
throbbing and pulsing in the ****** heights before explosive creation
i
howl
the body electric
and rise, ******* over Moloch
whose mind is pure machinery
and whose children drown in their insanity

with a cold and broken hallelujah
i hymn the blessed race immortal
and rend the fabric of reality from top to bottom
entering in the place most holy
and die, writhing on the warm, welcoming earth
the place of my birth
the place of my hearth, where the embers glow and spark

December has now heard a lark
Hades, required to return to her mother
the goddess he has stolen for a season
and the Bird rises wreathed
in flame from the ashes
baptizing the Forms of our collective unconscious
with the blessed and holy power of life

and coming to life, all of our pictures bring us to life with them!

*

one can not blaspheme what is not
for one can not think of it
look again at what Love gave us
in the space of an instant, which extends on forever
since time and space alike are a construct of our symbolic processes

i pull out my tabula rasa
i am written on the tabula rasa
all is white on the tabula rasa
all is white
all is white

the waves now are dragging me in
to the ocean without beginning or end
and the depths are alive with the wind
of warm currents and of births and of sand
and death would appear now a friend
leading me in by the hand
calling me into the land

Love is life
Love’s alive
Love is death

Death calls
Written ca. 2011
Jul 2019 · 239
nameless
Justin Aptaker Jul 2019
worlds within
and without are all waning
insatiable
chaos
vacuum
the void
which sat between heavens
heavens splitting the waters
the waters, the weeds
create living geometries

etch-a-sketch drawings
of silent mandalas

now the dreamweaver
lotus
now the lucid unwaking ones
who appear at your bedside
disdaining your closet

while you lie
awake
sleeping
hypnogogically paralyzed
their eyes burning green
freeze your skies
red
as

Christ
comes

you
trapped in misogamy
you
flying through tattered air
you
****** off this oxygen
burned by the stare
of a mirror
Written ca. 2006
Justin Aptaker Jul 2019
at last something broke you
and that something, it was you
you were closing your eyes
you were seeing it through

you blew up and sold
the world outside and within
and i fell on your black day
you showed me how to live

you showed me how to die
and no matter how hard i try
to stare at the sun
it is black to my blind eyes

and suddenly my eyes are open
somehow things begin to focus
high

we are all illuminated
light is shining on our faces
blind

until our rapture
falls to pieces

these are stolen
bits and pieces



new york is hot
how i loathe where i'm living
Bharata, you fought
now it's i who is giving
up
and now fly

now fly from your empty cage, girl
you are rust and the sky
always killing the bird
see, i am the night
jesus christ i suppose
see, i am the light

i don't mean to remind you
of anything you gave me in song
you blessed my muse with your light
what you did was so wrong

the light in us was darkness
how the night is so long
light a fire, wait for summer
we black stars wander on

smoldering embers
september's come and gone
here comes my december
half beast
and half gone



broken and cold
but all is still holy
Hallelujah, and through you
yes everything, holy

did we want it darker
so you turned out the light?

now i'm doing time
playing with meter and rhyme
longing to be in the house
of my own secret life

until the sea must free us
i'll wait for you there
you came just to see us
all we sailing where?

all of us sailors
rowers, keep rowing
now no light is showing
now the danger's approaching

row gently, never gently!
upstream to ignite
row never gently!
rage at that night!

oh captain, my lying captain
turn around and take me home
a long time ago
i thought you'd died alone

everybody knows this boat's leaking
all the white horses stopped sleeping
the ponies stopped running
i the band just keep playing
though the girls now are aging

lilac wine, sweet and heady
how my hand is unsteady
how aghast and unready
like my love that is ending
like the last night you danced me

when the music was over
you turned out the lights
you kissed me goodnight
with a thousand goodbyes

still in my dreams you walk dripping
from the sea where i'm slipping
from the sea that shall free me
to my hut that is ripping
through the masterpiece
tripping

how my soul is worn thin
i can't even begin
to speak
so i'll speak no more

and if it be your will
i'll sink beneath your wisdom
like a stone

like a stone
i'll wait for you there

alone
Jun 2019 · 163
iconoclast
Justin Aptaker Jun 2019
i made supplication
to my heart
to my very heart

thudding and flopping
chambered
apart

i prayed to the flesh
how the spirit gives way
i set up my altar
i found beasts to slay

i asked only that
the beat would go on
my glistening, grinding
red ***** song

but the flesh made no answer
as if by design
the Universe tune
is ever so fine

i smashed up my idols
i burned up my books
i cast to an early grave
the high and proud looks

and the Universe met me there
and It said, “I’m Alive”
and It beat like a steady heart
that was keeping good Time

and It entered pact with me
a civil cease-fire
after It had destroyed me
and a new breath inspired

i’m cutting my ties again
i’m burning those old bridges
around the world and home again
i’m making decisions
Written by Justin Aptaker ca. 2011 - 2014
Justin Aptaker Jun 2019
i insist on suffocating slowly
still
    i refuse to die
    imposing my will to weakness
    avoiding applying the "why"

implications are closing in, oppressive
my mind is open, fluid
suggestive
interposing meaning and form with
    the spoken and written letter

the light source filtered through all this
            wreckage
  the squeaking moving in, oppressive
  regressive, the way my vantage remains
a disjointed unit-whole

you persist, and i suffocate quickly
you ask so nicely for me to die
deposing my God ****** will to power
why do i seem to avoid the "apply"?

THE SYMBOL ON MY HAND IS BURNING

    into the flesh, and back out from inside
illuminates Prison, a chasm, a prism
dividing a spectrum of impossible light

we wholly refract the soma, the psyche
The Panic transforms into beauty inane
compulsion, obsession, redemption, addiction
we know we're alive    
                      we perpetuate pain
Written by Justin Aptaker, 2006
Jun 2019 · 218
lacking
Justin Aptaker Jun 2019
all together
with numbers and rulers we form
circles in playgrounds like schoolgirls

with jump ropes and all with short sing song rhymes
short, and now shorter, now shorter
like ozone

with long life hum whispers and all with eyes
like lacking
Written by Justin Aptaker, 2006
Jun 2019 · 2.6k
Is Ra El?
Justin Aptaker Jun 2019
every line bears this weight
clumsy truth, crucifix-like
and in bearing alone, they are born

up and sing
on the wings of those demons we've seemingly seen
to be
descending
one ladder inverted
where once Jacob had torn
down his alter
in anger, in the dry place where we left the vision
Written by Justin Aptaker, 2006
Jun 2019 · 180
My Magellan
Justin Aptaker Jun 2019
i am the man who weeps for the world
i am the man who weeps

i do not, I will not
bleed for the world
i’m not the one who bleeds

little sister, my love
do not dry your eyes on my account

i am a fleeting consolation

i have been
to the ends
of the world
i have seen
the great emptiness (it lies)
on the other side of that horizon
Written by Justin Aptaker ca. 2010 - 2011
Jun 2019 · 158
Sermon from Under the Earth
Justin Aptaker Jun 2019
blessed are the fools
who call themselves fools
for others will call them wise

blessed are those who cry out to the world with stammering tongues
crouching aching and sweating
over endless lines of gibberish that fall like drum beats from the tips of their frantic pens
for they will be called Earnest

blessed are the ones who suffer withdrawals
dope-sick
shaking and sweating
desperate for a drink or a fix
for I will make them High indeed!

blessed are the ****** “deviants”
cast away by the “holy” as unclean
for they know that no man or woman may call unclean
anything that God has declared clean

Blessed are those who shake their fists in rage
at the heavens, cursing them
for they will dance in the pouring rain
Written by Justin Aptaker ca. 2015
Jun 2019 · 196
The Four Corners
Justin Aptaker Jun 2019
this four-cornered cave, i’ve been calling my home
the sun has dried up
and left bleached like a bone

this bone i’ve been living in, like an old woman’s shoe
but i have no children
and i have nothing to do

this deed that i’ve done, it has been done for me
but I was condemned
and condemned to be free

this freedom is nothing, not like freedom at all
i sit staring at shadows
shadows play on the walls
Written by Justin Aptaker, 2006
Jun 2019 · 210
ephemera
Justin Aptaker Jun 2019
i was told
last night, by a woman
whose life was passing her by
that the card in my hand
indicated that i was to be reborn

now i sit
with ink from a borrowed pen
that i borrowed from a friend
who also gave me his food
as America was passing us by

and i
so long to express this lovely isolation
we are the light
of a single star
and no star
is ever very far
from my single thoughts
they touch
every one

i am
so many colors
when i divide myself
in the water that falls
poured by a man
with no plans at all
Written by Justin Aptaker ca. 2010 - 2011
Jun 2019 · 200
totality
Justin Aptaker Jun 2019
momentary clarity
seeing i’m human after all
grandeur drowned in mortality
i am all totality

i’m nothing at all
yes, feeling small
the largest of feelings
the hardest for telling

foretelling my futures
complexity looming
chaos consuming
hope always blooming

at the last minute
not done till i’m finished
never give up the ghost
just because you’ve lost hope

over the horizon
fixing my eyes again
flesh spirit battle weary
soul, hold me, onward dreary

love, you’re a mystery
a curse and a gift to me
the wind that keeps lifting me
the waves always drifting me

connected to feeling
in body, in realness
ethereal madness
fading some, can i grasp this

can you grasp?
i don’t ask this
my last breath, my life passed then
never to ask when
in an age, in an afternoon

breath fleeting leaving soon
inspiration the gentle moon
good night sweetly gripping me
i am all totality
Written by Justin Aptaker ca. 2016 - 2017
Jun 2019 · 221
mu (nu)
Justin Aptaker Jun 2019
Beneath your vast oceans of sky
i trembled in wonder
And the veil was torn asunder
And for a time, standing still
I could see: oh, all my blindness to reality

The gears clanged together, shifting again
I was in the world of other men
And everything seemed so pretend
And even then
just when

I felt crushed to the crumbling, time would flow
Your oceans of time move fast, then slow
The currents in our minds that drift and blow
Listless so

Like our ego and spirit kaleidoscopes
Today we’re high, tomorrow
Low
And time, and time just seems to go,
And all the while we know
We know

That when we bid our loves farewell
Time can be our only hell
Time, on which our minds will dwell
Wasted years, and love grown pale
Life is never our story to tell
I don’t want to end this not so well
These lines are not my story to tell
They rush from under your waves who swell
And creatures beneath the deep who dwell
My spirit is stretched in the wind, my sail

Walk between worlds I know so well
Knew so well, unfamiliar now
Revolving doors to worlds abound
And feet never can stay on the ground
Not forever

Nothing is
Nothing could have been, or could ever be
Nothing at all, no, nothing should be
How could anything ever be? I shake my head in agony
Discarding others’ philosophy

That’s the glory!
Nothing compels to tell this story
Nothing, the natural state of things
From which something pure and holy sings
From which life and love and beauty spring
From which all this sorrow and suffering

From which come these broken and holy rhymes
And discords, and tempos
And faltering times
And wars and egos the size of dimes
That yet tread down the earth
Like Jehovas, endless lines

I cannot
My ego press on
My spirit stretched thin
I cannot
I cannot begin again

I can’t begin to make you see
I can’t begin, for even me
I can’t
I can’t
Not I
Not I
Written by Justin Aptaker ca. 2016
Jun 2019 · 126
When the Grass
Justin Aptaker Jun 2019
tomorrow’s a new day
when
this
night

Will be forgotten
And
the light

and the might
of the eager armies
surging to war

we’ll have forgotten
what the fight had been for

and the wind whispers peaceful death
over grass reaching for height
and the moon in the morning sky
and the silver-hot fright

which the living things move by
driven to flight

when the quickening pulse
and the mood is just right
when the life-shedding earth snake
pulls my skin around tight

i will cling to the new grass
Like the cold morning frost
i will sing to the very last
i will sing very lost

Like the song of the deep sea
Like the howl of the stray dog
who scours the night streets
outlined in the dense fog

when the earth overturns itself
yet again as it always does
when the ends of the universe
touch me, soft like my mother’s blood

i will change in the darkness
like a lady *******
i will cast in my fury
every trapping and dressing

I will rage in the silent storm
I will find peace at last
I will blaze across eons
I will lie in the grass
Written by Justin Aptaker ca. 2009 - 2011
Jun 2019 · 710
Reverse Cosmogony
Justin Aptaker Jun 2019
the stars are lying
between layers of ether and projected purpose
burdened with grandiose plans to toy with the dust bunnies that blow
everywhere like tumbleweeds
in a western flick just before final showdown
the outcome depends on an angry Matryoshka doll of endless ecosystems

remember that perfect silence fell on our history like a shadow, guillotine-sharp
cutting out any tongue that would retell the fable of Hiroshima
reborn, She was immaculately misconceived as the unwanted child of a firefly
and a street sweeper
while in correlation a pin crashed to the floor of a factory somewhere
in the boondocks of Babylon

i mention this in riddles, not to mislead, but hoping to preserve my own
slimy muscle tucked safely in its bacteria-laden skull, where it burns white and blue
to taste, and somehow amoeba all things sensual into itself
sweet water, salt and iron

for no reason i riddle on alone
as plain discourse will not prove to be any more terrible for me in a day
my tongue, the unstable centerpiece of all things volatile
will prove to be its own undoing, not needing a blade to mute it
its white glow will one day implode to expand in an instant of recklessness
which vaporizes tongue before skull
to at once spray my organic-wet thoughts through every quantum nook of the known universe
and parallel, to finally satisfy my undiscerning palate with the rich, heavy taste
of every decomposing delicacy that truth grows in

the gods are afraid
of what we might become if we could lay hold of their winged heels
or learn to outrun their surest arrows and fastest dogs
if we were to stop dangling mouth-first by their ******* threads
as if our very existence was the carrot

the ascendant, sun of morning reduced to earth
he looks up with such longing, where his trusty dog still sits and stays
not returning his gaze, but having every appearance of doing so
the black paper sky splashed with white ink, folded in half, and unfolded again
we stare on and on
and project all of our unconscious into something meaningless
and create our story

a freudian chuckle rumbles in every thunderclap, while we lie
on riverbeds like cold sofas, pondering our lives and our futures, while we feed
every kind of fish and scavenger--a mock eucharist which moves molecules
as above so below to the universal singularity
in the redundant shape of a figure eight

self-emaciation, a violent circumcision that cleanses like soap
discarding the fat which no machine needs for survival
like Howard Hughes i scrub until every bone is bare and bloodstained
empty, i step into the holy of holies afraid that i must die again
forgetting everything, i begin to slide
Written by Justin Aptaker ca. 2006
Justin Aptaker Jun 2019
It's all imaginary
it's all real

it's all ephemeral
all eternal

every little gesture
every racing emotion

every breathless whisper
every dark and mystical room
overflowing with night air and moonlight

nothing is ever lost
truth is what is not forgotten
suffering, we learn
learning is remembering
the pain you give me
brings me back to myself
and I remember
who and what I was
before I had eyes or ears or even chloroplasts

the symbol on my hand is changing
on fire
like all of gleaming reality itself
the pearl of price which blinds the impoverished merchants
who wander naked and lost
hawking all their wares on every noisome corner

the fire is all consuming
all sanctifying
all purifying
all changing
all revealing

I am in the fire
and in the fire, all is holy
and every last thing is eternally in flames (even the merchants)
and sleep is the great activity
and death is a dear friend
who betrays with one kiss
but whose betrayal is love incarnate

I am one
with my many selves
and though I may be above you
you hear my voice
you fumble after the meaning until it finds you

I am
the light bursting out of a broken lantern
the diamond with an infinite number of perfect cuts
the voice crying milk and honey into the wilderness
the children's song that flies above the lamentation up on the desert plane
the melody that found its way into your equations
the dream that startles you wide awake
the life that pulsates in decay and corruption
the happily ever after horror story

I am
the unstoppable force
that meets the immovable object
and the result is nothing

nothing but the purest, clearest light
that has never entered the mind

take heart, my love
the raging storms of your own neurochemical electricity
will give birth to their own silence
all thought is designed to produce its own resounding negation
all speech is born to fade beautifully
all music is played until it is over
and it's closing time
and the bars empty
and the streets grow silent and still under the street lights

and the last enemy, who you fear with the Great Fear
unmasks herself, a friend and a lover
The Lover of lovers
and trembling
you fall forever into her holy and ****** embrace
Written by Justin Aptaker ca. 2013 - 2014

— The End —